For some reason, even though I was hearing great reviews about this movie, something about the trailers seemed really off to me. I decided to shrug it off, thinking it was just trust issues from last year when everybody was praising the tepid Ouija: Origins for being extremely scary and well-made, despite the fact that the acting in that film was lackluster and the plot holes and overall logic were absolutely lacking.
As it turns out, Annabelle: Creation is even more lacking than Ouija: Origins.
Now if your sole criteria for a horror movie is for it to scare you, then I can see why you would give Annabelle: Creation a free pass here, because there are some genuinely scary moments. Otherwise, if you’re a reviewer who tries to judge a movie on every single one of its merits, then I don’t understand how you could, in good conscience, give this movie a recommendation, because there are major elements int his movie that are horrendous.
For starters, every single plot point in this story relies heavily on our characters making monstrously stupid decisions. It was as if some of our main characters had absolutely no survival complex trying to keep them safe. It’s possible that said reviewers may have excused these moronic decisions on the fact that most of the characters are children and children are stupid.
Well, my response to that would be
A. I remember being a stupid child; I still had “flight” responses to things that terrified me. Most children with half-working brains have these same types of responses.
B. Most of the adults in this film make stupid decisions as well.
Still other moments in the film relied heavily on poor communication. Now I understand that in movies, one has to be tolerant of a few stupid decisions and poor communication being convenient plot points because real life humans are obviously prone to stupidity and lack of communication. But when the entire plot depends on these types of decisions, the outcome is always having the story feel cheap, irritating, and stupid.
One of the most cheap and irritating things this movie constantly did is forget about characters in their own story during scary moments. There’s a scene with a girl in a wheel chair outside, and the scene establishes that there’s four other girls next to her about forty steps away. Then, suddenly, some horror creature pushes the girl down the hill and into a barn, and despite the fact that the girl screams in terror the whole time she’s being pushed down the hill, no one comes to her aid until the entire horror sequence is finished. There are so many horror moments like these that require the script to forget that other characters exist, and it constantly took me out of the film because I was busy screaming at its lack of logic.
So much of the dialogue in this movie feels forced and obligatory.
The “scary” soundtrack in the movie was so transparent and on-queue about everything that it made it impossible not to predict certain scary moments happening.
The cinematography was so unaware of what it was trying to accomplish that there were multiple scenes where they did a close up on an object or occurrence, thus implying importance to the story, only to never be brought up again.
The character development is non-existent. No character relationships develop, change, or go through an arc except for when they get possessed by demons.
The powers of the demon inside the doll are excruciatingly undefined and seemed to change whenever something scary had to happen or whenever the plot demanded that a character escape.
Aside from a few horror scenes that are actually quite chilling, and aside from a very consistent tone and picture quality, this movie is absolute garbage. This movie was just as incompetent and irritating as The Bye Bye Man, except for three or four scenes that were effectively terrifying.
I honestly don’t understand why so many reviewers are giving this film a free pass. There’s this tired argument that people keep throwing at me about how “filmmaking is subjective”, or something. And even though that is true to an extent, I would argue that if there is no objective level to critique a film, then why the hell are you wasting time reviewing movies?
It seems that everybody draws the line somewhere. I know it’s easy to hate on movies like The Emoji Movie and Transformers: The Last Knight, but if you can’t critique the stuff that everyone else is praising, especially when its flaws are THIS obvious, then you’re not a reviewer, you’re just a standard moviegoer that just so happens to blog about films.